Building Bridges of Understanding
In 2012-13 / 5773 Beth Emet's annual theme was Gesher Tzar Me'od, Building Bridges of Understanding, embracing many apsects of Social Justice:
- Fourth Friday Speakers. In conjunction with the theme for the year, members of the congregation and local community have shared how their Judaism has influenced work on building bridges between diverse communities.
- Sankofa. This April, over spring break, Beth Emet and Second Baptist Church, both highly regarded and longstanding leaders in Evanston's interfaith and social justice movements, sent 38 high school students and eight chaperones on a six-day bus trip to the South to visit key sites from the civil rights era. The trip is called "Sankofa," which is a West African word that means, "go back and get it." The idea is that it's important to reflect on the past to understand our present and build a better future. The goal of the trip is for our African-American and Jewish youth to engage in an interfaith, interracial experience by interacting with history as a way for them to lay the foundation to cooperate in the future and help build a more just society.
- Bibliodrama. Over an eight month period, members from Beth Emet and Second Baptist Church of Evanston have been involved in Bibliodrama, an improvisational form of acting out the Bible in which nothing is pre-planned. Participants have developed original midrash, bridging barriers of both race and religion.
- Unity Weekend. More than 530 volunteers from four diverse Evanston-based congregations prepared meals for needy families, enterained senior citizens, restored prairie lands, washed wheel chairs and shared emotional-stirring moments of communal prayer and reflection during Unity Weekend held April 19-21.
- Beth Emet Gan (Garden). The Gan was created in early April and is situated west of the playgound.
- Volunteer Opportunities. You may be thinking about additional ways that you, your children or your family and friends may help repair the world. Look no further. The planners of 2013's interfaith Unity Weekend Project have compiled a list of not-for-profit organizations that participated in the event and how to contact them at anytime throughout the year. They are looking for volunteers and welcome your participation on a regular or even a one-time basis.